Thursday, April 03, 2008

Serrano Pepper by Jane Hirshfield

Grief is as with serrano pepper:
first there is actual flavor, then only heat.

Jane Hirshfield's metaphor for grief has been borne out for me each time I have lost a loved one. Each loss has started out being distinctly different from the others, I have mourned that singular aspect of my life that was diminished - pining for everything I shared with the deceased. I would enter their room finding it impossible to believe that they had not just stepped outside for a bit. As I waited, it would sink slowly that I could wait till the end of time and still not see them. They would have to live in my imagination and memories alone.

Their presence felt alive among their personal effects - clothes, books, odds and ends. Then there were things that linked us - the letters I wrote them and the letters they wrote me, the sound of their voice on the phone when they called my name and their touch. Things I would never forget, things of indelible permanence that death could not take away. It was all about specifics - the grief was different from any other.

Yet in time "only heat" remained - a void that would never be filled. As it turned out, one void was not a lot different from the other.


Anonymous said...

you have amazing taste in literature. Pit y that you are wasting your talent in IT.

Heartcrossings said...

Thank you :) Unfortunately, that is the only skill I have that will pay the bills.